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Cervical Cancer

Integrative Treatment Options for All Stages of Cervical Cancer

Cervical Cancer Holistic Treatment Center

Cervical cancer is a malignancy of the female reproductive system that starts in the cervix. On average, about 13,000 new cases of cervical cancer are identified every year in the United States. Although only 0.7% of women in the U.S. will ever be diagnosed with the disease, it’s still one of the most common malignancies in women after breast cancer.

Interestingly, cervical cancer has played a significant role in our understanding of cancer in general. In 1951, a young woman named Henrietta Lacks presented with an abnormally large malignant tumor in her cervix. Dr. Howard Jones, a renowned gynecologist, took a sample of the tumor through a routine biopsy and soon discovered that Henrietta's tumor cells were practically immortal and divided so rapidly that their number doubled every 20-24 hours. The now famous “HeLa” cells have been distributed, cultured, and immortalized in countless research labs across the globe and are still a vital source of oncological insights even today.

What Is Cervical Cancer?

Cervical cancer occurs a bit differently from other tumor-forming cancers. It’s important to understand the root of cervical cancer in order to make sense of the plausible risk factors, prevention measures, and treatment options.

Also known as the “neck of the uterus,” the cervix connects the lower part of the uterus (womb) to the vagina (birth canal). It forms a gateway and communication channel between the uterus and the vagina known as the cervical canal. The wall or the cervical canal is divided into an upper and a lower section, each made up of different cells. These are:

  1. The endocervix – Closer to the opening of the uterus. It is lined with glandular cells called columnar epithelial cells.
  2. The ectocervix (exocervix) – Protrudes into the vagina and is clearly visible in a speculum exam. The ectocervix is lined with squamous epithelial cells.

Where the epitheliums of the endocervix and the ectocervix meet, there’s a defined boundary called the squamocolumnar junction. And the region where the two types of cells meet is called the transformation zone. At this junction, sub-columnar reserve cells multiply and differentiate into precursor squamous epithelial cells in a process called metaplasia.

Sub-columnar reserve cells only multiply when new cells are needed. But on occasion, mature cells are pushed into the reproductive cycle faster than the cervix needs new cells. This condition is called dysplasia (squamous intraepithelial lesion or cervical intraepithelial neoplasia), and it causes rapid and uncontrolled cell multiplication in the cervix. While these cells are not exactly neoplastic, they are pre-cancerous and can eventually lead to cervical malignancy. However, dysplasia can take up to 20 years to develop into cervical cancer.

Cervical cancer causes, symptoms, and holistic treatment

Types of Cervical Cancer

Ninety percent of cervical cancers start in the squamous epithelial cells of the ectocervix. Such cancers are appropriately named squamous cell carcinomas. A less common type of cervical cancer is adenocarcinoma, which develops in the mucus-producing glandular cells of the endocervix. Even less common are adenosquamous carcinomas, which exhibit mixed features of both squamous cell carcinomas and adenocarcinomas.

What Causes Cervical Cancer?

Nearly all cases of cervical cancer (over 95%) are caused by a human papillomavirus (HPV) infection. There are over 200 variants of HPV, many of which are sexually transmitted. Fourteen types of HPV are considered high-risk and are known to cause various cancers. In particular, HPV-16 and HPV-18 are linked to about half of all cervical cancers.

HPV inserts itself into immature epithelial cells of the transformation zone, where it integrates its DNA with that of the host cell. The virus then releases huge amounts of E6 and E7 proteins, which block tumor suppressor genes, pushing mature epithelial cells into unsanctioned and uncontrolled cell replication cycles.

HPV is a common infection that occurs in nearly all sexually active individuals, both men and women. But a majority of these infections clear away quickly without presenting symptoms or requiring treatment. However, the risk of cancer-causing HPV infections is highest in sexually active women with multiple partners. Like most STIs, HPV infections can be prevented by using a condom during sexual intercourse. Vaccination against HPV is another sure way to lower the risk of contracting the virus and developing cervical cancer.

Here are other likely factors that might increase your chances of getting cervical cancer:

  • Weakened immune system
  • Carcinogenic factors such as smoking and excessive exposure to radiation
  • Chlamydia infections
  • Family history of cervical cancer
  • Long-term use of oral contraceptives (over five consecutive years)
  • Having given birth to three or more children
  • Full-term pregnancy in the teenage years

Early Warning Signs and Symptoms of Cervical Cancer

Most cervical cancer patients do not show any symptoms until the disease has advanced far enough to affect reproductive health. At this point, the dysplasia has turned cancerous. Common warning signs and symptoms of pelvic cancer include:

  • Abnormal vaginal bleeding in between menstrual cycles and even after menopause
  • Menstrual bleeding that is longer and heavier than usual
  • Constant pain or discomfort in the pelvic region and lower back
  • Pain or bleeding during or after sexual intercourse
  • Unusual vaginal discharge with an unpleasant smell
  • Sharp pain when urinating
  • Swollen legs, constant fatigue, and problems with bowel movement and urination in the more advanced stages of the disease

How to Diagnose and Stage Cervical Cancer

The procedures for diagnosing cervical cancer are straightforward and dependable. Screening begins with a pap smear, where the doctor inserts a speculum into the vagina and examines the cervix. During a pap smear, the doctor may use a brush to collect fluid and tissue samples from the cervix to check for dysplasia under a microscope.

Usually, a pap smear is followed by a colposcopy. In this test, the doctor uses a colposcope to get a lighted and zoomed-in view of the cervix and collect more tissue/fluid samples. The samples are tested for dysplasia as well as high-risk HPV strains.

Further examinations involving molecular/gene tests, imaging, cystoscopy, or sigmoidoscopy may be carried out for staging and prognosis purposes.

There are many different ways to stage cervical cancer. But the most common method is the International Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics (FIGO) staging system. It tracks the cancer across four main stages:

  • Stage I – The cancer is only present in the deep lining of the cervical wall.
  • Stage II – The cancer has spread to nearby areas such as the vagina and uterus.
  • Stage III – The cancer has spread to the pelvic wall, the lower third of the vagina, and regional lymph nodes.
  • Stage IV – The cancer has spread throughout the pelvic area and to other nearby organs.

How We Treat Cervical Cancer Holistically

Your treatment options for cervical cancer will largely depend on the stage of the disease. Early-stage cancer can be treated using targeted methods such as cryosurgery, conization, and hysterectomy. If the disease is widespread, treatment may include prescription medication and radiotherapy.

Cervical cancer can also be treated successfully using holistic means such as immunotherapy, hormonotherapy, cellular revitalization, and natural detoxification. These are the kinds of safe, non-invasive, and wholesome treatments that Brio-Medical offers its patients.

Our holistic treatments encourage the body to heal itself naturally by stimulating the built-in defense and recovery mechanisms. Crucially, we also cater to our patient's mental and emotional health through mindfulness and mind-body therapies. We believe that there can be no true healing without addressing the root cause of the problem and treating the being as a whole.

Become a patient today and start your personalized holistic cancer treatment with expert guidance from our medical professionals.


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  2. National Cancer Institute “Cancer Stat Facts: Cervical Cancer.” American Cancer Society (ACS). SEER*Explorer. Accessed September 16, 2022.
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